Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers have revealed it will play on artificial turf rather than natural grass when it moves into its new Globe Life Field stadium in 2020.
The new Globe Life Field, which is being constructed, will feature a retractable roof and large windows designed with the intention to let natural light onto a grass playing surface.
However, team officials have said that after looking at alternative playing surface options, it has been decided that an artificial surface will be a better choice following two years of research with Auburn University.
The turf will be provided by Shaw Sports Turf, which was involved with the extensive study that looked at how players react to artificial surfaces. The new surface has been designed to play, look and feel as much like natural grass as possible and will feature an infill of coconut husks and fibers as well as 2.5in of padding beneath the surface to offer a softer play.
Globe Life Field will be the fourth of the 30 major league teams’ stadia to use artificial turf. The Arizona Diamondbacks will also make the change from grass at Chase Field, which has been in place under its retractable roof for the past 21 years.
“The challenge with grass in retractable roof stadiums is they are not consistent from foul line to foul line,” said Rob Matwick, Texas Ranger executive vice president of business operations, in a report by MLB.com. “Arizona, for 20 years, tried to grow natural grass. This year, they finally said enough.
“Ultimately, I think the decision that came down was we feel like this will be a more consistent, higher quality field than we can provide with a grass surface at this point. Better conditions, better safety for the players.”